Proposte GM Disputes Eric Schneider’s Describing Proposte as ‘Tarantella’ Dance

December 3, 2019


Proposte 2019
Proposte 2019

Editor's Note: A letter from Proposte General Manager Massimo Mosiello to F&FI Editor Eric Schneider.

Dear Eric,

We were very surprised to read your articles about Proposte 2019, especially the one published in the June 2019 issue of Fabrics & Furnishings International. Besides your legitimate and authoritative opinions in this article, we would nevertheless like to point out several inaccuracies that should be corrected in the appropriate venues.
First of all, already in the title, you accuse Proposte management of dancing to the rhythm of the Tarantella: moving or, better yet, senselessly thrashing about in confusion, as if bitten by the famous "taranta" (tarantella) represented in the eighteenth-century Italian dance. That is your opinion. What we can tell you is that Proposte has almost reached its thirtieth edition, which is a remarkable age for any international event that has gone through all the fluctuating phases of the sector's international economic situation while preserving its international authority intact and even growing. If there had not been a plan and clear intent shared by the vast majority of the participants and the public, this would not have been possible. The mission of the event has always been clear: to represent the best international decorator fabric and drapery producers through a careful selection of both the exhibition venue and visitors. Proposte has never wanted to represent the market in its entirety: other European events have this purpose. Its objective is to be a qualitative review of the most creative and valuable segment of international textile production.  Abandoning this objective would distort the event and empty it of its essential content. Therefore, there is no "Tarantella," but the necessary steadfast determination in expressing the need to protect the business of the companies and professionals participating in the event.
Let's move on to the real inaccuracies: at the beginning of the article, you claim that Ala Regina was half empty. If you check the catalog, you’ll see that just one exhibitor was missing compared to the previous year.  It seems to me that you have extensive experience in trade fairs: therefore, you will have to agree that any exhibition venue experiences some sort of turn-over, especially during complex market periods.  Companies come and go every year. The task of a trade fair organizer is to keep the level of the offer consistent with the project and have an adequate number of visitors. In short, we must maintain a high quality of service for exhibitors and visitors.  One can have an opinion that criticizes the composition of the exhibition, but criticism cannot be based on an incorrect description of the numbers. Moreover, contesting the quality of the exhibition would be an opinion in open contradiction with the whole sense of the article that calls for a tout court opening ​of the doors of the event, even to external companies that certainly cannot compete with the quality level of current exhibitors.
Continuing, you insinuate that Proposte admission rules are unclear. I am enclosing the documents that are uploaded every year to the homepage of the exhibition website for the selection of new companies. Therefore, if many companies were not admitted, it is because they do not have the fundamental requisites; it is not due to the arrogance of the founders, as you wrote. It is legitimate to ask for greater globality of the event, as we have already pointed out at the beginning of our letter. It is legitimate but useless: it would mean doing something that differs from the constitutive DNA of Proposte. If you are not familiar with it, we suggest that you visit Frankfurt in January, where you will find all the globality that interests you. However, opinions cannot be insinuations, especially in the revered world of American journalism, unless they are proven by facts: we, therefore, invite you to review the attached documents, which clearly indicate the characteristics that companies must have to participate in Proposte. There is no arrogance, but simply the intent to keep the promises that we have been making to exhibitors and visitors for thirty years.
And now we have come to the long-standing question of exhibitors outside Proposte. To ask, with the authorization and the full consent of the Municipality of Cernobbio, companies who exhibit outside the show to respect certain dates and times are not a sign of a frenzied and slightly neurotic dance, but a consistent effort, which has existed for several years, to protect our exhibitors and their business. Participation and competition are at the root of our market, but everyone must respect the rules. A free market does not mean being free of rules: that would be a chaotic vision of business. In fact, with a clear and regulated schedule of exhibitions, all buyers, visitors, professionals and company representatives can adjust their agendas, make the necessary choices and give necessary priorities to their visits and business, thus escaping from a "Tarantella" of openings at any time, several days in advance with respect to the real main event which, let us not forget, is Proposte at Villa Erba.
Having hopefully clarified this, we repeat that we do not dispute your freedom of opinion and the fact that you are free to write whatever you want in your magazine. We simply ask you to correct the inaccuracies published, through clarification or publication of our letter. We ask you to respect the facts and to report the actions and intention of management as they really are, especially in light of a relationship between you and Proposte that has existed for almost thirty years!

By General Manager Massimo Mosiello


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